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Old Horse Racing and Waffle House Punishment: MLS Players Really Love Fantasy Football (Another Kind)

12:45pm EST

  • Arch Bell

  • US Soccer Writer

The 2022 NFL season kicks off this Thursday, and the world Fans everywhere are happy, especially those (us) who play fantasy football. The usual fantasy football highs and lows will be felt by millions, including MLS players.

Fantasy football is a big deal in many MLS locker rooms. Like, a very important thing.

“I’m a dedicated fantasy football player,” said Houston Dynamo goaltender Michael Nelson, who is also the team’s fantasy football commissioner. “It got really heated. Guys go into the draft process every week, trash talk in the locker room, controversies about trades…all of that.”

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ESPN talks to players from multiple MLS teams about their respective fantasy football leagues, although some don’t have organized leagues — “It’s sad,” says DC United Field player Russell Canouse — those who really revel in the activity.

Overall, most teams have a 12-team, 0.5 PPR (points per reception) league. Ironically, the vast majority of league commissioners are goalkeepers.

“Usually the smart guys on the team take over, so I’m not surprised,” says New England Revolution shot – stopper Earl Edwards Jr.

The process of joining the Fantasy League is generally open to those who are interested, unless it is the Seattle Sounders.

“You have to be drafted into our league,” Sounders forward Will Bruin said. “If a guy moves from Seattle, that spot is open, but you have to apply. We have two spots open this year. One year we had people submitting resumes, which was really fun.”

Edwards Jr. is convinced goalkeeper Matt Turner will join the Revs’ Fantasy League for the 2021 season, but returns after winning the Gold Cup with the U.S. Men’s National Team last summer (and joining Arsenal from New England) Na), Turner’s plans changed.

“Matt dumped us last year. He’s on a team that only has national team players, so if you want to throw it out there, that’s great,” quipped Edwards . “We thought he just wasn’t bought into fantasy football, only to find out he was in the National League a few weeks into the season.”

‘ Goalkeeper Conspiracy and Bad Wings

League One organization, the next order of business is to select the draft of the team. This is where things get tricky.

Entering the Revs’ 2021 draft. Edwards, who served as the league commissioner, used golf’s “closest to the pin” game to determine draft order — using Edwards’ pitching wedges. Edwards took the victory himself, sparking the ire of his teammates. Incredible Edwards.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Djimi Traore found out what happens if you skip the Sounders draft.

” When Djimi was on the coaching staff, he got a last-minute excuse not to enter the draft and he got the No. 1 pick. He said, “Let me participate in the automatic Draft”. It was late in the preseason the year Andrew Luck retired, so we let him get lucky with his No. 1 pick after a last-minute bail,” Bruin said.

Nashville SC takes their fantasy football very seriously, so the draft is a big deal. Just don’t do what Jack Maher did at Dan Lowitz’s draft party last year.

“I had food and Jack wasn’t paying attention,” Lowitz said. “He brought 100 dry rub wings and they were terrible and no one ate them. He had to leave them at my house…he brought them from the burrito shop!”

to their credit, Nashville has come up with some pretty neat ways to determine the order of the draft.

“We found an old racehorse with 12 horses and a race replay available. I checked the race and got the horses’ names without looking at the odds and results , put it into a randomizer and assign each player a horse,” Nashville commissioner and goalie Joe Willis said.

Once the NFL season begins, the banter in the locker room escalates.

“Everyone walks into the locker room and talks about their trade effort to win, a win that just happened. There’s always fantasy football talk at the start of the season,” Diana Mount guard Tim Parker said.

News, games, injuries…it’s a distraction that has a positive effect on team culture,” Canus said.

Teams just need to be careful not to let it spill over into game day preparations.

” A year in Washington, Felipe Martins tried to convince everyone to approve a deal with Dono The Wan Pines deal. I think he was frustrated saying no to the players, it was like an hour before the game warm-up,” recalls current FC Dallas player Paul Ariola.

Connect with overseas teammates

Fantasy football is also an opportunity for overseas players Learn more about A message from U.S. sports culture. Seattle’s Brazilian Joao Paul is crazy about fantasy football, Houston’s Swedish defender Adam Lundquist is bored, Ghana’s Revs’ Emmanuel Boateng participates Insights from the Patriots training camp and Julian Gresell of the Vancouver Whitecaps even played in the league with his brothers in Germany.

But getting into this fantastic The most interesting player from overseas is likely to be FC Dallas’ Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Paes for the 2018 season. Having just arrived in the U.S., Paes is experimenting with fantasy football, although he doesn’t get much help from his teammates.

“Since coming here, I’ve wanted to learn about all American sports. I don’t know the rules very well, but I like to compete,” Paes said. “My teammates weren’t helping because I was competing with them, so my friends who lived in my apartment were helping me.

Paes also quickly learned who was the best fantasy player in the Dallas locker room.

“Paxton Pomykal is A guy is very happy with himself when it comes to his fantasy football team, so I’m curious if he can live up to his predictions,” Paes said.

If Paes can do To and winning the FC Dallas League in his first year, he will join the roster of MLS legendary fantasy football moments.

Michael Parkhurst spent 2017 with Atlanta United A perfect season, and the year the final season was in Houston, Nelson went 0-5 to win the league.

“I’m not saying it’s an inside job. work, but I think some things should be investigated… maybe a committee should be formed,” Parker expressed doubts.

Did you finish last. 5K, Waffle House, or Standing?

Even more memorable was the final Penalty for those who finish. For example, don’t be surprised if you see an FC Dallas player in a full uniform next spring for a 5K.

But when it comes to the final One time, Nashville would accept

“In the first year, you have to sit in the waffle house for 18 hours, and each waffle eats one less hour. The underdog that year ended up eating 10 waffles and just having to be there for six hours…I hate to name it, but he’s a center-back with a blond ponytail,” Willis Said.

Doesn quickly knew it would be USMNT guard Walker Zimmerman.

“Our loser from last year will be in 5-7 minutes of stand-up comedy on a local open mic quickly hit the night,” Willis added.

Once the MLB season is over, a group tweet Texting keeps the trash talk the same, but the real fun is that everyone is still in the locker room. Fantasy football is the perfect antidote to a long, hard season.

“It’s Fun game outside of football. It brings people together. You connect and keep your mind away from things that get better if they don’t go well, or if they go well,” Bruin said.

So when you’re in this fall Experience the ups and downs of fantasy football leagues, and maybe you can take solace in the fact that some of your favorite players in MLS are going through the exact same thing.



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